There’s a lot to know about getting insurance for your car. It feels a bit like rocket science sometimes, right? There are all the fancy terms, for one thing. Then there are all the coverages you need to know about, then figuring out what is and isn’t covered. There’s a lot of head-scratching and squinting. To help you absorb some of the need-to-know intel about Atlanta car insurance, we’ve put together a handy-dandy guide to auto insurance.
The complete guide to auto insurance.
- Part 1: The car insurance glossary.
- Part 2: Car insurance coverages you need to know about.
- Part 3: Pro tips for getting car insurance.
- Part 4: Exploring the factors that affect your insurance rates.
- Part 5: How to save money on car insurance.
- Part 6: Car insurance discounts that could help you save.
1. The car insurance glossary.
So, there are some need-to-know words that get thrown around when it comes to car insurance. Before we talk about anything else, we’ll go over some of the lingo. (Insurance-speak is kind of like another language.)
Covered loss: A loss that your insurance will help you pay for. Not all damage/expenses/losses are covered. See your policy for details.
Declarations page: A “cheat-sheet” to your insurance policy. It outlines what coverages you have, how much coverage you have, the cars that are on the policy, and how much you’re paying.
Deductible: The amount you agree to pay if you have a covered loss. You pay your deductible, insurance pays the rest up to your policy’s limit.
Limit: The maximum that insurance will pay out on the various coverages you choose.
MVR (Motor Vehicle Report): Shows your driving history (i.e. license status, traffic violations, license suspensions, accidents.) Your MVR can impact your car insurance rates.
Premium: How much you’re paying for insurance.
Primary use: What you typically use your car for (commuting, business, pleasure, farm, etc.)
2. Car insurance coverages you need to know about.
There are a lot of auto insurance coverages out there, and they can all protect you in different ways. We’ll explain a few common (and helpful) coverages.
- Liability insurance: Can help cover your legal obligation to the other driver if you’re at fault in an accident. It can also help you cover your legal expenses if they sue.
- Bodily injury liability: This can help cover the other driver’s medical bills and pain and suffering if you’re in an accident where you’re at fault.
- Property damage liability: Can help with the expenses of repairing/replacing the other driver’s car if you’re at fault in a wreck. It can also help cover the costs of other property you may damage.
- Collision coverage can help you repair or replace your car if it’s damaged in a wreck or if you, well, collide with something. (Remember, liability insurance won’t help repair/replace your car if you’re in an accident.)
- Comprehensive coverage can help you repair/replace your car if it’s damaged by something other than a collision. Typical losses that are covered are fire, vandalism, theft, falling objects, and animal strikes. (Again, liability insurance doesn’t protect your car.)
- Rental reimbursement can help you cover the costs of renting a car if you’re in an accident and your car has to be in the shop.
- UM/UIM (Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist): UM/UIM insurance can help you cover your medical bills if you’re hit by someone who’s uninsured or who doesn’t have enough insurance to cover all of your expenses.
3. Pro tips for getting car insurance.
The quest for car insurance can be a daunting one. How do you know you’re doing it right? What do you need to know if you’re getting car insurance? We’ve got some tips to help you out.
Consider the coverages you want to get.
The first thing is that you need to know what kind of coverages you want for your car. What losses do you want to protect yourself and your car from? It’s really important to put some thought into how you want your car to be insured. Go over your coverage options, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Get lots of coverage.
The next thing to think about is how much coverage you want. It’s really important that you have high enough limits of coverage to truly protect yourself if you’re at fault in an accident and have legal obligations to the other driver.
Georgia’s minimum limits of car insurance are $25,000 of bodily injury per person, $50,000 of bodily injury liability per accident, and $25,000 of property damage liability. That might seem like a lot of money, but when you start adding up the medical bills (not to mention a lawsuit) and the costs of car repairs or replacement, that’s not as much as it seems.
Anyways, the point is that you might want to get more coverage than just the state limit. You may want higher limits of liability insurance, and you might want to consider getting coverages such as collision coverage and comprehensive coverage that aren’t required by the state.
Choose your deductible.
If you set a higher deductible, you could see lower premiums. That’s because you’re less likely to file a claim. However, you have to consider your finances and choose a deductible that’s manageable for your situation. You don’t want to set your deductible too high to the point that you’d have a tough time paying it comfortably.
Do your homework.
Spend some time researching the carrier you’re considering. Find out if they have a good financial standing, a good record for claims handling, and good customer service.
Don’t forget discounts.
Many carriers offer car insurance discounts – yes, the kind of discount that means you save money! It’s not a trick. Find out what discounts you could qualify for and watch your bill get magically smaller. (Don’t worry – we’ll explain a few of the common ones in a second.)
Think about bundling.
Bundling is when you get your home insurance and auto insurance from the same carrier. There are a few reasons to give some thought to bundling. First of all, it’s convenient. Second, you might qualify for a pretty nice discount if you do. Carriers often have a bundling discount that can help you save money on your insurance.
It’s a good idea to get car insurance quotes so you can go over coverage options and pricing. (You can get started with quotes by filling out our online form, calling us, or sending us a message on LiveChat.)
4. What factors affect my car insurance premium?
It can also be helpful to know what things about you or your car play a part in your auto insurance rates. Insurance companies look at a lot of things when they set car insurance rates, and these factors determine how much of a risk you are to insure and how much your insurance should cost. Some of these factors may be…
- Your age: Younger drivers might get higher rates because they don’t have much driving experience (and, well, they’re possible daredevils.)
- Where you live: Your location also plays a part in your rates. If you live in a big city, you might get higher rates than if you lived in a rural area. (There’s generally more traffic and higher crime rates in cities.)
- Your driving history: Drivers with a record of accidents and tickets can see higher rates because they’re “riskier” to insure. Safe driving can literally pay off.
- Your car: The year, make, model, and safety features of your car play a part in your rates.
- How much you drive: The more you drive, the higher your chances of having an accident. The number of miles you cover and what you’re using your car for can impact your rates.
- Your coverages and deductible: The coverages and deductible you choose can affect your premium.
- Your credit score: Drivers with better credit scores may see better car insurance rates.
- Your marital status: If you’re married, you may get lower car insurance rates.
5. Tips to save money on car insurance.
So, here’s an important query as far as car insurance is concerned: how can you save money on your premium? Are there any tips to help your car insurance bill get smaller? Indeed – there are.
As we explained, your driving record can have a big impact on your rates. Drive safe and keep a clean driving record – your bank account will thank you. Safe drivers often get lower insurance rates.
Have the right deductible.
You might be able to lower your premium by raising your deductible. But don’t outsmart yourself and set your deductible so high that you’d be in a real pickle if you had to pay it.
Think about what car you drive.
If you drive a safe car, you may get better rates.
Use car insurance discounts.
The definition of discount is to get a lower rate, right? So lower your premium by asking about discounts. It’s amazing how savings can add up.
You don’t have to settle for the first car insurance company you find.
6. Car insurance discounts.
Different insurance companies have car insurance discounts that can really help drivers get lower rates. Here are some of the common discounts that are out there:
- Multi-car discount: If you insure more than one car with the same carrier, you could get a discount.
- Bundling: Save money by getting your home insurance (or renters insurance) and car insurance from the same carrier.
- Safe driver: Your carrier may offer a discount if you go a certain amount of time without a claim.
- Automatic payments: You might get a discount for setting up automatic payments for your premium. Insurance companies like knowing they’re going to be paid on time. You could also get lower rates by going paperless and handling your payments online.
- Paying in full: You might get a lower rate by paying your premium all at once instead of in monthly installments.
- Low mileage: If you don’t drive a lot, you could get a discount.
- Good Student Discount: Teenagers and young adults can get a Good Student Discount for making good grades in high school or college. (Students with higher grades are less likely to get into accidents.)
So, that’s our guide to auto insurance in a nutshell. Your auto insurance is there to help provide a financial safety net. Driving is risky – it’s important to protect yourself. Make sure you have the right car insurance so you can hit the road with peace of mind.
Get started with Atlanta car insurance quotes by filling out our online form, calling us, or messaging us on LiveChat.